This video explains responsive websites and why you need to have one.
John Parnell Pierce, Web Necessities.
Today we’re discussing mobile websites. In particular, we’re talking about responsive websites.
So firstly, what is a responsive website?
Well a response website is a website that’s designed to dynamically adjust itself depending on what sort of device you are viewing it on. So if you are viewing it on a mobile phone, the pages are formatted for a mobile phone; if you’re viewing it on a desktop computer, the pages are formatted for a desktop computer; if you’re on a tablet, the pages are more formatted for a tablet. It also responds to whether your screen is landscape size or portrait size.
I’m going to demonstrate how that happens.
Here we are in the desktop view, as I change the screen size you see that the website starts to adjust itself.
Now the menu has changed and if we scroll down we see that the content that before was next to each over is now stacked.
The page has automatically adjusted itself in response to the size of the screen it is on, and as we zoom back out again we’ll see that things begin to readjust itself again back to a wider screen view.
As we get smaller the responsive menu kicks in, showing a menu specifically designed for mobile phones and it looks different to the normal menu, but it is formatted to work on your mobile phone.
And that is how a responsive website behaves and that is different to having a specifically designed mobile website. The preference here is to create a website that you design once, the content remains the same no matter what you do.
Now for the question, why do you need a responsive website?
- Well for a start, mobile phone adoption is growing at a rapid rate
- Smartphones and tablets are leading multi-screen customer experiences. That is smart phones and tablets are now dominating the devices that people are using.
- Mobile web is growing faster than the first wave of online Internet use.
- And customers are making consumer choices via mobile devices.
So where as once upon a time you’d be making your buying decisions via a desktop computer, customers are now making decisions on the fly, sometimes at the point of purchase and they are doing that via information from a mobile device.
Responsive technology is designed to work with a broad range of different devices. Once upon a time we all had desktop computers, now we have desktop computers; portable computers and tablets; smart Phones; and the 4th category, embedded browsers such as web enabled TV’s, game consoles and/or set top boxes.
Now the reason we want to have mobile friendly sites or responsive sites is to avoid user frustration.
Users typically abandon sites they’ve found to not be user friendly and mobile users tend to leave sites that aren’t optimised for their device. Likewise mobile users are more likely to buy from mobile friendly sites.
If your competition has a mobile friendly website and you don’t, then you’re losing out immediately. Customers will be purchasing from them and not from you.
Now the advantages of responsive sites
Users can move between devices, so you can stay in front of customers at every stage of their online journey. So they may have found your website on a desktop, they may then go out with their mobile phone and investigate options further. They check their mobile phone at the point of purchase. They might be checking prices. They could be walking done the street in a shopping area comparing the prices at different stores against what they can get online. They could be checking out the specs of the products.
One advantage of responsive design in particular is that your site content is the same at every stage of the customer journey. The layout of the page may change, the content in the page is the same content on any different screen.
The other advantage of responsive website is that there is no need to re-author content.
So the same information and services are available to all users no matter what device they are using.
This simplify internet marketing and Search Engine Optimisation. There’s no need to develop and manage content for multiple websites. Thus there’s a unified approach to content management, and there’s only one set of analytics to examine. Also it requires only a single strategy to develop and deploy, so you are not having to deal with two different teams creating and deploying your content.
The other advantage of responsive websites is that search engines prefer it. Google actually recommends that you have responsive web design because having a single URL makes it easier for Google to discover content. They don’t want to be going to a mobile specific site and then having to index a desktop specific site. They’d much prefer only having to index one site.
This has an advantage too because it is important that your site place higher on mobile search results than your competitors sites. If your site is not mobile optimised it is not going appear high in the results of search engines when accessed from a mobile device.
Responsive design is also customer friendly. Customers can make purchase decisions immediately no matter where they are located. They are familiar with your website and the content will looked the same no matter where ever they are.
And as we have seen already with retail, the Internet has already changed the buying patterns of customers. So customers have been abandoning brick and mortar stores and buying online. The mobile web is going to shift it again, this time away from the desktop and back out to the streets. However now customers wont be necessarily going to brick and mortar stores either, they’ll be comparing what they can get online.
On personal bug bear of mine is entertainment venues that don’t have mobile friendly sites. You’re out with friends, you want to see a band or a show so you go to a website and you can’t read the content. So you try another site and you eventually find one that is mobile friendly. You’re able to determine what acts are on and then you preference goes out to that venue.
And finally it’s not an issue of “Can I afford to be come mobile friendly” but rather “How can I not afford to be mobile friendly”.
So there you have it. if you are interested in taking advantage of responsive technology for your website, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to move your existing website to the WordPress content management system and apply a responsive template to your site. Or we can develop a site from scratch using your logo and corporate colours to give you an online presence that will work across all devices.